List of Names for Baby Donkey Narrowed to Five

The newest member of the Kona Coffee Living History Farm – a 6-month-old female donkey –  needs a name and the public is being asked to help the Kona Historical Society decide what it will be.

Starting today (Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017), fans worldwide will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite name by making a $1 donation at the farm or on Kona Historical Society’s website, All donations will be used for the support and care of animals at the farm. Any donations in excess will go towards supporting Kona Historical Society’s educational programs and other needs.

The baby donkey arrived Jan. 31 at the historic 5.5-acre farm in Captain Cook and was the result of Kona Historical Society’s “Charlie Needs A Bestie” crowdfunding campaign, which sought a companion for the farm’s approximately 30-year-old donkey, Charlie, and upgrades to his home.

Over the past six days, there was an overwhelming response to Kona Historical Society’s call for suggested names. The public submitted a total of 125 suggested names on the Kona Historical Society and Kona Coffee Living History Farm Facebook Pages.

On Monday (Feb. 6), a Kona Historical Society committee selected the following top five finalist names:

Florence (“Flo”) – Nominated by John Gavelek, Cathy Watkins, Terri Olsem, Balbi Brooks, and Leilehua Yuen

Kona’s coffee farm donkeys are known worldwide as “Kona Nightingales” for their distinctive “song.” Another famous Nightingale is Florence Nightingale, a social reformer and founder of modern nursing. Perhaps the new donkey will demonstrate the same compassion as her human Nightingale predecessor.

Lucy – Nominated by Mary K. Soria and and Jody Holman Webster

In Charles Shultz’s beloved comic strip Peanuts, Lucy van Pelt is one of Charlie Brown’s closest friends. She’s often temperamental, bossy, and opinionated…which happens to be a pretty good description for a stubborn donkey as well! Hopefully, our Charlie will find the new donkey’s advice a little more useful that what can be found at Lucy van Pelt’s Psychiatric Booth.

Manini – Nominated by Lindsay Sieberg

Manini are small fish that can be found in Hawaii’s coral reefs and are a favorite among local kupuna. They are distinctive for their narrow black stripes, similar to the stripe on our donkeys’ shoulders. To avoid predators, manini live in large schools. With the addition of the new donkey, we’re happy to have our own “school”— or herd —of donkeys.

Mele – Nominated by Cindy Wittemore, Ashley Chamberlain, Donna S. Starr, and Jiraphon G

“Many Kona coffee farmers used Mele as their name for female donkeys,” says Miki Izu, a local kupuna and long-time coffee farmer. Mele also refers to the chants, poems, and songs of Native Hawaiians. Maybe the new donkey’s braying song will remind us of Kona’s rich traditions.

Shizu – Nominated by Pixie Navas and Leslie Christman

In Japanese, “shizu” means quiet and clear, and is the nickname for a few of Kona’s residents. Shizuka Uchida was a proud daughter of the Kona Coffee Living History Farm’s founding family. Shizuko Teshima was a long-lived, devoted businesswoman who established Kona’s famed Teshima’s Restaurant. Shizu Kahikina was a dedicated woman who worked on Pu`u Wa`awa`a Ranch. The name Shizu is a testament to Kona’s humble and hardworking women.

“We narrowed the nominations to names that were clearly very popular among social media followers and names that are significant to Kona’s history and culture,” said Kona Coffee Living History Farm Museum Manager and Kona Historical Society Assistant Program Director Gavin Miculka. “We love that everyone is as excited about the new donkey as we are. We’re grateful to everyone that suggested names.”

Voting online and at the Kona Coffee Living History Farm happens now until Feb. 27. The farm is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays and is located at 82-6199 Mamalahoa Highway in Captain Cook, near mile marker 110. There is no limit to the number of times fans may vote. It’s a $1 donation per vote. The winning name will be announced on March 1.

Kona Historical Society is a community-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and Smithsonian Museum affiliate that has spent the past four decades collecting, preserving and sharing the history of the Kona districts and their rich cultural heritage within Hawaii.

For more information, call Kona Historical Society at 808-323-3222 or visit To get the latest updates regarding Kona Historical Society programs, historic sites and special events, “LIKE” Kona Historical Society and Kona Coffee Living History Farm on Facebook.

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